Crouch End identical triplets set for first Christmas after life-saving surgery

Triplets Otis, Rocco and Prince 

Triplets Otis, Rocco and Prince - Credit: Summer Preston

Crouch End identical triplets Otis, Rocco and Prince have been through a lot at just seven months old, having faced a dramatic battle to save their lives before they were even born.

Now the picture of health and happiness on their mum’s Instagram, it’s hard to imagine it could have been a very different story. 

It will be Summer and her triplets' first Christmas this year

It will be Summer and her triplets' first Christmas this year - Credit: Summer Preston

Parents Summer Preston and Davidson Shillingford were faced with the option of terminating one baby to save the others when they were diagnosed with rare condition TTTS at 19 weeks pregnant.

It meant one baby, Rocco, wasn’t getting enough nutrients through their shared placenta, while the others’ hearts were strained. 

“It still makes me emotional when I think about it,” Summer told the Ham&High.

“There was a very high chance that they could all die because they shared a placenta… it was just a really awful place to be.”

Summer Preston with her triplets at hospital

Summer Preston with her triplets at hospital - Credit: Summer Preston


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After having multiple rounds of IVF to conceive the boys, Summer didn’t want to give up on them.

Instead the mother of four underwent a risky surgery performed by a world-leading doctor – and nearly ended up on a new Netflix documentary series.

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Summer said it was “mind-boggling” to watch the keyhole laser procedure, performed by professor Kypros Nicolaides, who features in an episode of The Surgeon’s Cut, released this month.

Triplets Otis, Rocco and Prince with their old sister Violet

Triplets Otis, Rocco and Prince with their old sister Violet - Credit: Summer Preston

The Crouch End mother said: “They insert a laser and a camera through your stomach into your uterus and you're awake for that, so you can see your babies actually in the sac on the screen in front of you.”

“[The Surgeon’s Cut] is pretty incredible because it shows the same procedure, the same doctor, same room,” she added.

“I've spoken to people that have flown from different countries to have surgery with this particular doctor. So we're very lucky.”

The trio were born in May

The trio were born in May - Credit: Summer Preston

The operation was a success and all three babies were born healthy on May 18. Now home after spending a month in ICU, their parents say the boys are developing distinct personalities, from cheeky to laid back. 

Rocco was named after Rocky because doctors and nurses dubbed him “a real fighter”, while Prince is named after his dad’s musical hero.

“It’s pretty full on, but I think I imagined worse,” said Summer of having three boys alongside older sister Violet, 7.

“When you read all the stories you imagine the absolute worst case, and then you're like, well actually it's bad but it's manageable.”  

“It’s pretty full on, but I think I imagined worse"

“It’s pretty full on, but I think I imagined worse" - Credit: Summer Preston

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